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Dorothy, When You See Sophia in Heaven, Send Her Our Love, Too!
April 25, 2009 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Bea Arthur has died. She is best known for her portrayal of Maude Findlay, Edith Bunker's cousin on All in the Family. Her character spawned a CBS spin-off -- Maude. In 1985 Arthur was cast as Dorothy Zbornak in the hit sitcom the Golden Girls. Bea -- thank you for being a friend.
posted by ericb (157 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh sad.

I always got a kick out of Bea Arthur.

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posted by kbanas at 1:03 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by Smart Dalek at 1:04 PM on April 25, 2009


Archive of American Television interview with Bea Arthur "about the origins of her stage name and how she started out in plays, off and on Broadway."
posted by ericb at 1:07 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm still discovering the ways in which her work affected me. 'Night, Bea...
posted by hermitosis at 1:08 PM on April 25, 2009


A comedic great

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posted by Mick at 1:08 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by Joe Beese at 1:08 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by JoanArkham at 1:08 PM on April 25, 2009


Here's Bea in a Sex and the City parody.

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posted by waitingtoderail at 1:09 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


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posted by kjh at 1:09 PM on April 25, 2009


Let's not forget her singing role in the Star Wars Xmas Special. Oh wait. We should probably forget that.

She had a very long and interesting acting life before Maude and after. IMDB link goes back at least to 1951.
posted by emjaybee at 1:10 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also worth noting: Her extraordinary body of work in the theater.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:11 PM on April 25, 2009


Oh fucking hell, J.G. Ballard and Bea Arthur in the same week. Honestly, I think the woman made me genuinely laugh at least as many times as Ballard put strange images in my head, and I'm hard put to value one over the other. She just had the flawless make-you-laugh-even-if-you're-too-cool-to-laugh-at-Bea-Arthur timing.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 1:11 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by EatTheWeak at 1:11 PM on April 25, 2009


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Deadpool is going to be so sad!
posted by bettafish at 1:13 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


May she fight, feast, and die throughout eternity in her own private Valhalla. Hail to thee, acerbic crone warrior!

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posted by bunnytricks at 1:14 PM on April 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


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posted by aerotive at 1:15 PM on April 25, 2009




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posted by raxast at 1:17 PM on April 25, 2009


I always liked that old broad.
posted by Senator at 1:17 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


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posted by PlusDistance at 1:18 PM on April 25, 2009


Aw man, that sucks. I always liked her. I just watched the Futurama episode where she voices the FemPuter ("I sentence you to death! ...by snu-snu!"). She had a long life and a great career, though, and will always be remembered as the ultimate gravel-voiced sassy old lady.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:20 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Aw, Pussycat!

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posted by amarynth at 1:20 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Holy crap. I was just watcing an episode of the SImpsons from 1995 where Krusty asks his accountant, "Did you send those thousand roses to Bea Arthur's grave?" She'd deserve every one of them.

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posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:20 PM on April 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


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posted by gcbv at 1:23 PM on April 25, 2009


She deserves this post AND the double right above it!
posted by R. Mutt at 1:24 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


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posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:25 PM on April 25, 2009


Her Emmy-nominated guest appearance on Malcolm in the Middle was wonderful. I strongly recommend looking for if you haven't seen it.
posted by gimli at 1:27 PM on April 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


.2
posted by HyperBlue at 1:27 PM on April 25, 2009


*Invokes the "Let Bea Arthur Have Two Obituary Posts" Act.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:29 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


.-. .. .--.
posted by found missing at 1:32 PM on April 25, 2009


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She is everyone's new grandma now.
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 1:35 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]




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posted by longsleeves at 1:42 PM on April 25, 2009


An awesome old broad has bit the dust: the world's a little lessened.
posted by jrochest at 1:43 PM on April 25, 2009


Her reactions to Betty White's stories made the 5:30 daily reruns of Golden Girls required viewing in our house.

Also, this: (1, 2, 3)

Archie: You gonna get outta [my chair]?
Maude: Get lost!
Archie: Well, I got the secret weapon that can lay this little lady right away. Here we go: THIS COUNTRY WAS RUINED BY FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT!
Maude: (slow burn) You're fat.
Archie: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT!
posted by evilcolonel at 1:47 PM on April 25, 2009 [8 favorites]


. (I didn't do it)
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:48 PM on April 25, 2009 [38 favorites]


A dot for both obituaries

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This sucks.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:51 PM on April 25, 2009


Right on, Maude.

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posted by mazola at 1:52 PM on April 25, 2009


She was in the Marines, too.
posted by merelyglib at 1:53 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


. (I didn't do it)
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:48 PM on April 25 [+] [!]


Eponytragic.
posted by evilcolonel at 1:53 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's really weird when a celebrity dies, and you didn't think you would be, but you totally are upset and saddened by it.

RIP, Bea.


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posted by nooneyouknow at 1:57 PM on April 25, 2009




Oh Jesus. I'm a huge Golden Girls fan and I honestly feel like my grandmother just died.

I wonder if Rufus Wainwright feels the same way?

RW: We were doing an AIDS benefit together and she was the emcee. And I was there...and I had always wanted to meet her because I obsess over “The Golden Girls,” one of my favorite shows for a long time, that and “Mary Tyler Moore,” both of which were mentioned in the song “California” (a song on Poses). I essentially, ya know, went up to her and told her that I was a huge fan of hers and that I watched her a lot when I was very lonely in Los Angeles and wasn’t with my family. And I told her that she became my sort of grandmother — my TV grandmother. And she turned to me and said “I’m not your fucking grandmother!” and walked away.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 2:04 PM on April 25, 2009 [57 favorites]


TV Tears.
posted by doctorschlock at 2:06 PM on April 25, 2009


Dang, dang, dang.

For a few years now, my favourite Bea Arthur television moment has been the Malcolm in the Middle ep where she babysits Dewey, even though she leaves in an ambulance. It highlights so much of her charm and brilliance.

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posted by batmonkey at 2:10 PM on April 25, 2009


I like to think that "Fiddler on the Roof" was written specifically so she could play Yente.
posted by RavinDave at 2:23 PM on April 25, 2009


And then, there's Maude.

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posted by porn in the woods at 2:23 PM on April 25, 2009


she wasn't my fucking grandmother either, but she sure did feel like one of the family for a whole lot of years. rest in peace, maude.
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posted by msconduct at 2:25 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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Here she is singing "Sniff Swig Puff" with Rock Hudson. Class act. I'm sad to see her go. "Bea Arthur nudes" is not a meme.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 2:29 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bea and Angela Lansbury reprise their famous "Bosom Buddies" duet from Mame for the Tony Awards. (YT)

Bea runs around Logan Airport screaming "The terrorists! The terrorists!" when a TSA agent discovered that she'd forgotten to take her pocketknife out of her purse before boarding a plane.

Bye, Bea.

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posted by tzikeh at 2:30 PM on April 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


Telling someone you're like their gramma is like saying you don't look half as fat in person as you do on TV. We know you mean well, but ...
posted by RavinDave at 2:30 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by WolfDaddy at 2:33 PM on April 25, 2009




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When I first started dated the guy who'd become my husband, it came up in conversation that Bea was his father's first cousin. I immediately passed on this info to all of my gay friends in New York, and the instant response was: "Wow! Keep this guy!" (This actually wasn't the reason we stayed together, but it's been ten years this weekend.)

I met her briefly on our honeymoon, after seeing her one-woman show -- she was extremely friendly and hilarious even backstage, with a very firm handshake. Popular culture needs more smart, straight-talking women like her. RIP.
posted by lisa g at 2:34 PM on April 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


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posted by betafilter at 2:36 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by MythMaker at 2:37 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by greta simone at 2:38 PM on April 25, 2009


Man I loved her. Thanks for everything, Bea!
posted by trip and a half at 2:39 PM on April 25, 2009


. with a stiff drink
posted by LMGM at 2:41 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Man, anybody else remember her bits on SheTV, a brief miniseries of sketch comedy from women? Most of what I remember was her doing some emcee act and the repeated punchline, "Gallic funboy, Gerard Depardieu."
posted by klangklangston at 2:42 PM on April 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


This thread might be useless without pictures.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:45 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by Jilder at 2:51 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by thankyoujohnnyfever at 2:51 PM on April 25, 2009


And oh those commercials for Shoppers Drug Mart!
posted by stevil at 2:53 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


"God'll getcha for that, Walter."

*sigh*

Right on, Maude!
posted by Ron Thanagar at 2:54 PM on April 25, 2009


[Scene: on the set of the Golden Girls. Dorothy is trying to figure out how she's going to pay her half of the IRS debt her ex-husband managed to accrue]

Dorothy, resignedly: I think I'm going to have to sell some of my stuff.

Sophia: Absolutely not! No daughter of mine is going to sell her stuff! It's illegal, it's immoral, and let's face it, Dorothy, lately you can't give it away.

Dorothy: I was talking about selling some of my belongings, Ma!!!


Thanks for giving us your stuff, Bea.
posted by orange swan at 2:54 PM on April 25, 2009 [7 favorites]




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posted by runincircles at 2:57 PM on April 25, 2009


Bea was awesome, even when she was shilling for Shoppers Drug Mart.

Special added bonus: Johnny Cash shilling for Canada Trust (another version here).

For a brief period in the 80s, Canada was your Japan next door, convincing your icons to do commercials they wouldn't do at home.
posted by maudlin at 3:01 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 3:01 PM on April 25, 2009


Let's not forget her singing role in the Star Wars Xmas Special. Oh wait. We should probably forget that.

Sadly, that was the first thing that popped into my head when I read the FPP.

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posted by deanc at 3:01 PM on April 25, 2009


Damn.
posted by orthogonality at 3:07 PM on April 25, 2009


A legend. Thanks for keeping it real, Bea.
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posted by kimdog at 3:11 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by cerebus19 at 3:12 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:12 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by brandz at 3:27 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by Ugh at 3:32 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by condour75 at 3:37 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by contrariwise at 3:41 PM on April 25, 2009


Sigh. I guess I'm doing my solo "Golden Girls" watch party today. Goodnight, Pussycat.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 3:42 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some great stuff in last May's Bea Arthur Birthday thread.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:45 PM on April 25, 2009


Is it okay to link to the deleted thread?
posted by merelyglib at 3:56 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bummer. Damn.
posted by heyho at 4:00 PM on April 25, 2009


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Why, WHY?
posted by mrzarquon at 4:04 PM on April 25, 2009


"The Golden Girls" was one of the first shows I could understand when I was learning English, and the silliness of it was something that helped me forget a lot of problems, at least for a while. I always like Bea Arthur's characters - their pragmatic nature and serious attempts to maintain sanity and logic in the face of lunacy. And anyone who names Lotte Lenya as a heroine has me as an admirer. I never understood the many remarks about her appearance either - even in her 70s, the woman was quite striking.

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posted by Dee Xtrovert at 4:05 PM on April 25, 2009 [8 favorites]


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posted by jeoc at 4:16 PM on April 25, 2009


I guess now is as good a time as any to post this topless Bea Arthur painting.

:(
posted by Brittanie at 4:41 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Aww man. My favorite part about her acting on Golden Girls was her stares. She would have me cracking up again and again, with a damn stare. I love that.

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posted by cashman at 4:46 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I looked for a youtube video of the original Andrew Gold version of "Thank You For Being a Friend," and all I could find was this awful skateboarding video. (Warning: NSFW language, gruesome broken arm shot.)
posted by HeroZero at 5:00 PM on April 25, 2009


Eh, never loved the Golden Girls. But damn, Bea Arthur...she was the original Lucy Brown in the 1955 Broadway production of Threepenny Opera.
posted by desuetude at 5:12 PM on April 25, 2009


Not until now, looking at the relative ages of the Golden Girls, did I know that Estelle Getty was actually younger than Bea Arthur when they made the show. Betty White was the oldest and Rue McClanahan had twelve years on them.

Thanks for a great career, Bea.

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posted by crossoverman at 5:18 PM on April 25, 2009


I loved The Golden Girls as a kid.

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posted by Pope Guilty at 5:20 PM on April 25, 2009


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with madame, 1980
posted by sexyrobot at 5:22 PM on April 25, 2009


?
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:24 PM on April 25, 2009


The world is a little less sassy today.

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posted by gomichild at 5:24 PM on April 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


Us tall gals are all a little sadder tonight.

Rest Well Bea.

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posted by pearlybob at 5:39 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Awww... so sad. My man just called to tell me about it and I didn't believe it.

One of the best things MeFi ever gave me was this picture of Bea Vs. Velociraptors.

Sad that now I'll never be able to fulfill my gay life's dream of having tea with Bea and her best friend Angela Lansbury.

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posted by yellowbinder at 5:48 PM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


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posted by SuzySmith at 6:43 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by exlotuseater at 7:01 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by babybuns at 7:07 PM on April 25, 2009


Who else remembers her in Amanda's, a misguided attempt at an American version of Fawlty Towers?
posted by stargell at 7:14 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Slideshow -- "Bea Arthur: A look back at the golden girl's life and career."
posted by ericb at 7:18 PM on April 25, 2009


Feh.

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posted by FormlessOne at 7:23 PM on April 25, 2009


Archie Bunker's nemesis.

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posted by WaterSprite at 7:29 PM on April 25, 2009


A legend indeed and definitely one of the golden girls.

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posted by Mael Oui at 7:31 PM on April 25, 2009


May her penis be forever preserved, so that future generations may scorn and reject people with it.

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posted by Auden at 7:31 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by oddman at 7:36 PM on April 25, 2009


Ah, she was pretty great.

RIP, Bea.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:42 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by edmcbride at 7:42 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by sonascope at 7:46 PM on April 25, 2009


Aw hell. :( Such an incredible person, both onscreen and off. RIP.

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posted by zarq at 7:56 PM on April 25, 2009


I saw a recent picture of her, she looked so old. Nothing like when she was on the show. RIP
posted by jackson5 at 7:57 PM on April 25, 2009


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posted by miratime at 8:00 PM on April 25, 2009


Who else remembers her in Amanda's, a misguided attempt at an American version of Fawlty Towers?

I don't, but I do remember The Golden Palace -- the Bea-free hotel-based spinoff of The Golden Girls co-starring Cheech Marin.

Funny, that.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:38 PM on April 25, 2009


Since maudlin borked the link:

Shoppers Drug Mart 1 2 3 4 5
posted by Sys Rq at 8:44 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:05 PM on April 25, 2009


I've loved her since I was 8 years old and I saw my first episode of Golden Girls.

Rose: Well, I'm here if you want to pick my brain.
Dorothy: Rose, honey. Maybe we should leave it alone and let it heal.

Dorothy: Good night, Rose. Go to sleep, honey. Pray for brains.

Blanche: [looking after Rose, who has just left the lanai crying] What's the matter with her?
Dorothy: She's upset.
Blanche: Is it about Arnie?
Dorothy: No, Blanche. She's upset because they keep changing the taste of Coke!
posted by jerseygirl at 9:05 PM on April 25, 2009


She was my Fairy Broadmother.


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posted by louche mustachio at 9:27 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


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Exhibit Bea in rebuttal of any bullshit claim that women can't be funny.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:36 PM on April 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


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posted by hamida2242 at 9:41 PM on April 25, 2009


no!
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 9:59 PM on April 25, 2009


Ah, a bullshit artist

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posted by khaibit at 10:28 PM on April 25, 2009


Damn. I can only hope that I make it to her age... and if I do, that I'm half the broad she was.
posted by scody at 12:28 AM on April 26, 2009


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posted by BrotherCaine at 12:42 AM on April 26, 2009


She was a sister who really cooked.

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posted by quietalittlewild at 4:36 AM on April 26, 2009


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posted by oonh at 5:03 AM on April 26, 2009


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posted by cupcakeninja at 5:14 AM on April 26, 2009


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posted by fairmettle at 5:15 AM on April 26, 2009


That does not fempute!
posted by Eideteker at 5:35 AM on April 26, 2009


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posted by zarah at 5:41 AM on April 26, 2009


'We've been expecting you, Mrs Arthur. The stage is yours.'

RIP.
posted by waxbanks at 6:45 AM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh man, this means I have to call my Grandma today. She's probably a wreck, fer'real. When I lived with her oh so many years ago, I swear she found an all 'Golden Girls' channel that she kept running on every television in the house.

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posted by Bageena at 8:56 AM on April 26, 2009


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posted by kuppajava at 9:13 AM on April 26, 2009


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posted by PigAlien at 9:21 AM on April 26, 2009


. (I didn't do it)
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:48 PM on April 25 [24 favorites]


Yeah, The moment I heard the news, I was really hoping that you would start the FPP for this story.

. Bye Bea
posted by Avelwood at 10:07 AM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


. .

One dot for each of us reading this post. I always wondered if during the filming of "Airheads", did they actually get her to take those nude photos?
posted by SinisterPurpose at 10:48 AM on April 26, 2009


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posted by purephase at 11:33 AM on April 26, 2009


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posted by the sobsister at 11:33 AM on April 26, 2009


Dot, Dot, what a gal I got.

RIP Yoko Zbornak.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:43 AM on April 26, 2009


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posted by CitizenD at 1:08 PM on April 26, 2009


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posted by killy willy at 2:43 PM on April 26, 2009


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posted by candyland at 5:04 PM on April 26, 2009


I'd like to think that Bea Arthur will rise again. Sometime around 2015, when people are picking out their new PCMacAir Internet Avatar/Profile, Bea Arthur will be a choice. Lots of gay men running around with Bea's voice and picture coming out of their Internet thingy, telling them who's calling them, or who's posted new pictures to facebook, when their tea time is...
Of course lots of old stars are going to become personal Avatars for everyday people.
(If they started it now, some of these old stars could get richer now. There's lots of stars that didn't turn to shit that haven't had a good paycheck in ten plus years. We should help them out...Right?)

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Will be missed.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 5:47 PM on April 26, 2009


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posted by lordrunningclam at 6:15 PM on April 26, 2009


This reminds me of spending Saturday nights with my grandmother, watching the Golden Girls. Like clockwork, every week. It makes me miss her.
posted by CwgrlUp at 6:44 PM on April 26, 2009


No. NOOO. :(

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posted by spec80 at 6:29 AM on April 27, 2009


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posted by Mitheral at 8:29 AM on April 27, 2009


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posted by box at 8:39 AM on April 27, 2009


I grew up with Golden Girls as well, but I'm still way blown away by Maude. Going back and watching the first season on DVD, it's funny how they were doing the kind of political stuff on TV in its time that the networks wouldn't even touch today.
posted by troybob at 10:09 AM on April 27, 2009


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posted by joedan at 10:55 AM on April 27, 2009


I took an order for a box of fancy pears from her, years ago. I said, "Can I get your name please," and she said, "Beatrice Arthur," and I said, "... I knew that."

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posted by darksasami at 12:04 PM on April 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


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posted by fyrebelley at 1:40 PM on April 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:12 PM on April 27, 2009


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posted by ahdeeda at 2:13 PM on April 27, 2009


Rue McClanahan and Betty White remember Bea Arthur [video | 05:51].
posted by ericb at 3:45 PM on April 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Goodnight, Pussycat.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:07 PM on April 27, 2009


I'm so sorry that this elegant and smart actor is gone.

And here's to her, for being a feminist on prime-time television in the 70s! I think Maude was one of the first tv characters to get an abortion.
posted by goofyfoot at 8:48 PM on April 27, 2009


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